Food for Body and Soul


When Paul Holje and George Kelley talk about how they changed careers midlife to start a business, they joke that their story is the one about the architect and air traffic controller who opened a bakery. Self-proclaimed “foodies,” Paul and George had talked for years about opening a restaurant. When they saw the need for a hometown bakery in their city, Grand Forks, N.D., they knew it was time.

“We took a look at the local market and saw that Grand Forks had lost all of its old hometown bakeries,” Paul said. “In an area of the country that produces the best wheat, sugar, honey, dairy and eggs, we didn’t have a local place to make those fantastic ingredients into something special.”

3BCBDB8008084769875605E5D8F9744E.ashxAfter a year and a half of planning and test baking hundreds of goods, Paul and George opened Dakota Harvest Bakers in May 2006.

“The name ‘Dakota Harvest’ just sort of came to us. Inspiration from above, if you will,” Paul said. “We wanted to take the name one step further though. ‘Dakota Harvest Bakery’ just didn’t have the right feel. Being an architect, sometimes the focus gets to be too much on a building and not on the people using the building. That’s why we decided on ‘Dakota Harvest Bakers.’ It’s about the people, not the building.”

‘Family’ of faith

Paul and George’s commitment to people doesn’t end with the bakery’s name. It shows up in all aspects of their business — and their life. It’s a value they say is part of their faith.  Read More

Posted in In Mission Together